The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165215   Message #4076052
Posted By: Steve Shaw
19-Oct-20 - 06:52 PM
Thread Name: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
I'm a cook, not a chef.

Mrs Steve and I are currently enduring straitened times. My mother is in hospital an hour's drive away and is not going to come out. We have to go every day for many an hour to sit with her. There's just us, no-one else. Hospital rules, and they have coronavirus. To look after us I'm trying to prepare, in advance as much as possible, something healthy and nutritious for each evening when we get back late from the hospital. I can't bear the idea of resorting to junk food at a time like this. Last night we had spaghetti with lemon, prawns, chilli, garlic and rocket. Tomorrow we're having orecchiette con cime di rape, with home-grown tenderstem. Dead quick, dead easy, veggie. Tonight we had pasta with chickpeas (pasta e ceci). I prepared the whole thing last night bar the final adding of the pasta.

Forget tomatoes. You don't need them. No chilli either. For two people, a can and a half of chickpeas, rinsed. A smallish onion, chopped. Two cloves of bashed garlic (use your fist). Two sticks of celery, finely chopped. A good teaspoon or two of FRESH rosemary, chopped up. Your finest extra virgin olive oil. About 300ml chicken stock, preferably home-made.

Gently sauté the onion, rosemary, garlic and celery in a small glug of olive oil in a medium-size lidded saucepan. After about twenty minutes add the chickpeas and stock. Simmer that lot for about half an hour. Get a slotted spoon and remove about half of the chickpeas into a bowl. Blend the rest of the soup with whatever you use to blend. I swear by my stick blender. Put the reserved chickpeas back into the pan.

That's as far as I went with it last night.

So tonight I heated up the mix and seasoned it. Go easy on the black pepper but it does need some. When it was boiling, I threw in about 120g of small pasta (ditalini or mini-macaroni would be good, but all I had was a bag of small shell pasta. It was ideal). The mix thickened up a bit too much so I added a bit of boiling water. The pasta took about ten minutes to get to al dente. That lot went into two bowls and was drizzled with my finest EV olive oil and sprinkled with FRESH torn basil leaves. We had it with a bit of warm crusty ciabatta. It was a triumph. It sounds like it shouldn't be, but it was so easy, so delicious and so nutritious.